4 Habits Best Bosses Develop To Meet The Needs Of Followers In Times Of Uncertainty

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou
Darren Virassammy dives into the 4 key habits to lead strong in times of uncertainty

2020 has been a year filled with unprecedented levels of uncertainty across the globe.  Through all of this, leaders still must lead their organizations and work to make sure their teams stay connected and feel psychologically safe.  Work is drastically different, as is home and societal life for many…and these differences are yet one more way that we have an opportunity to connect on a human level.  

In a recent coaching session, a senior leader revealed to one of my colleagues: “Now is really a time we need to connect with our team members on a human level.”  This statement is very simple, and rings truer today than any time in recent history.  In seasons of high uncertainty, no matter what form it shows up in, people crave certainty.  A great way to create certainty is by finding and creating what Good Life Project host Jonathon Fields calls: Certainty Anchors for yourself AND for your teams.

Certainty Anchors

A Certainty Anchor is simply something of certainty that we have in our life.  It can be as simple as our certainty that the sun will rise in the morning, or that we have a job to go to right now, or that our computer works.  (More on Certainty Anchors can be found HERE). 

Here is the thing: in time of uncertainty, work may actually be a certainty anchor for many people.  Although different…it creates some level of a constant in life.  As a leader…now more than ever, your actions can create certainty for your team when many need it most.  

Why People Follow?

In the book Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie, they identify the 4 Needs of Followers.  These needs, when met, address exactly what great leaders do to build and fortify teams, creating connection, engagement, and collaboration…ESPECIALLY in times of uncertainty.  As a leader…you are facing your own levels of uncertainty right now. This is a great season to grow as a leader in understanding and meeting the needs of your team.  Below we will unpack the needs and 4 steps you can take to meet those needs.  

1. Trust: Be predictable in an unpredictable time 

Leaders don’t need to predict the future, but they must be predictable now and in the future. It’s hard to trust an erratic leader.

2. Compassion: Say it out loud, and back it up with policy 

If ever there was a time to show care, this is it. Your people are juggling new responsibilities, fears and problems, and they need to hear their managers and leaders say out loud that they understand and care. 

3. Stability: Provide psychological safety and avoid tunnel vision. 

People need some sense of normalcy. Regularly communicate your progress and accomplishments during this difficult time and highlight constancy where you can find it to prevent tunnel vision. 

4. Hope: It’s your most precious asset during turmoil 

Hopeful workers are more resilient, innovative and agile, better able to plan and navigate obstacles. Tell people what you want to achieve this week, this month, this quarter, and why.

Here is the real gift…if you focus on honing and developing your own abilities to meet these needs now when people need it most, you will actually be that much stronger as a manager when in more certain environments as well.  

What is one thing you can do as a best boss to create these habits for yourself?  How can you become a force of certainty for those you lead? 

Stay Tuned: Manager Intelligence Podcast Arrives Summer of 2020!

If you are ready to develop the best managers in your organization, and equip them with exactly what is needed to focus on strengths, cultivate and sustain employee engagement, enroll your managers in a Best Manager Academy.  The real question is: how can you afford not to send invest in a culture of best managers? For more information, visit https://www.bestmanageracademy.com/

Darren Virassammy is the Co-Founder and COO/CFO of 34 Strong Inc. Darren’s top five strengths are: Achiever, Arranger, Relator, Learner and Responsibility.